6 Social Media Tips MSPs Can’t Afford to Ignore


success failureSocial media has changed the way companies market their brands and manage their reputation so much so that it's now common to see

social media sites being the main platform for sales and marketing programs. With Facebook and Twitter entering the limelight and gaining millions of users worldwide, the world is quickly becoming smaller and the communities based on sharing have been able to rapidly advance brand exposure for businesses of all sizes.

While businesses now enjoy an accessible, flexible and not to mention more exciting medium of customer interaction, social media can harm businesses if mishandled. The Internet is rife with tales of poorly managed, ineffective social media campaigns that led to businesses harming their brand or even turning customers away.

Clients often contact us asking how they can properly manage social media after hearing related horror stories from other companies. They know that these platforms can be leveraged to successfully build their brand, and to boost the effectiveness of their marketing programs, but are weary of failure. If this sounds like you, here are six social media tips that can set you in the right direction.

Tip 1: Never lie!

When many of us were growing up, we were told never to lie. This rule still applies to adults. It should also be one of the guiding principles in the use of social media for your MSP. Consider it the backbone of your social media ethics. For you to be credible, present actual facts and honest information. There is no point in telling a seemingly pleasant, but untruthful message because at the end of the day, your followers can still find out the truth. Presenting genuine information can manifest your professionalism and help show customers that you can be trusted.

Being honest does not mean being perfect. You can never avoid having inaccuracies in everything you say, especially if they did not come directly from you. However, take the initiative to correct mistakes you make as soon as possible. The right solution to problems that crop up depends on the severity. If a simple typo is made, it is easy to edit - just be sure to make a note like "Edited for typos" in a comment or update. If there was misinformation, it's best to acknowledge it right away.

The simplest solution to avoiding such mistakes however lies in being proactive. You or someone in your company should verify whatever you want to share prior to posting. If you can't find a source or find conflicting information it's best to not post it, or post the content as an opinion piece - asking your fans and followers what they think.

Tip 2: Stop self-promoting all the time

As a business owner who wants to profit, it is natural for you to use social media with the intention of promoting your business. However, many businesses tend to make a habit of just posting every bit of promotional information without even thinking of a great strategy. Some even make worse practices such as bragging about the business. If you are consistently doing this, your readers will begin to view your profile as less valuable - they don't really get much out of constant promotions and will simply stop interacting with you or even visiting your pages.

Use social media to connect with your followers and do it on a more positive level if possible. For example, interact with your readers by replying to their comments, especially if they give affirmations. This is a great way to stir up interest in your business while adding an almost human face or feel to your business. Once you have engagement and interest, try adding the odd promotional content. There is a higher chance that your followers will act on it.

Tip 3: Leave the rough language to the hockey players

Rough language is a mainstay in games like hockey because the competition is tough and the situation is highly intense. In social media, the use of rough language is a no-no especially among professionals. Keep in mind that you are representing your company so learn to manage your emotions. Never use it as an outlet for your grievances and complaints. This is not just unprofessional, but unethical as well.

The best way to communicate through social media is to stay consistent with all your other forms of communication. Do it using a friendly and professional tone, and be smart with your choice of words. Furthermore, do not overlook grammar. Well-written content builds credibility, so make it a habit to double-check your grammar each time you are about to post a content.

Tip 4: Be wary of trolls

Every business owner quickly learns that there will always be people whom you cannot please. There will even be some who strive to test your patience. People like these can't be avoided, so it's best to manage these issues in a professional manner by trying to encourage them to discuss the matter in private. This will show that you value their opinion, but you have to deal with it in the right avenue.

The existence of social media gave birth to a special type of personality. This personality is happy to grab other’s attention, bring out controversies, and post inappropriate comments. They are people commonly called “trolls” and they are out to spot mistakes and pick fights. Be careful you might be dealing with these people without being aware of it. When a conversation becomes far from the real issue, chances are that you are dealing with a troll so stay away as it will not resort to anything good.

Some of them though are easy to spot; they are the only ones making negative or inflammatory comments when the others are generally positive. Take this as a challenge, because in real life, you also have to deal with negative people.

Tip 5: Control your anger

As the saying goes, never reply when you are angry. This applies to everything, including your business communication. With social media, it is very tempting to react negatively to something that has sparked your anger, but you know very well how it can affect your reputation and make things even worse. So before commenting, think about the implications or how people will react to your comments.

That being said, we know it’s nearly impossible to be perfect all of the time. If you receive negative feedback try taking a deep breath or stop reading more comments. Relax, cool down and always remember that you cannot please everyone. Instead of being carried away by your anger, offer suggestions and solutions instead. You can also consult an unbiased third party about what you can do regarding related matters.

Tip 6: Never forget to be social

Social media is designed for interaction, so once you set up an account, expect people to want to connect and interact with your business. Start by being active. Take this opportunity to build relationships with your followers. You can get their feedback about your posts, and be sure to show them you care but do not overdo it. Be genuine and avoid making empty promises.

Aside from being active, it is also important to invest in quality content. Think about information that will be useful to your clients and social media contacts. This will keep them engaged with your site and will serve to increase your overall reach and brand.

Using social media for your marketing objectives is not an easy task. It involves commitment, attention and effort. It may take time to get everything done right and achieve your expectations, but it is still very much worth it. By following these tips, you have a fair chance to benefit from social networking.